Kierkegaard and Sartre

Existentialism has been a influential philosophy since its inception in the 19th century through the 20th century, especially after World War II. Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish polymath and is regarded by many as  The Father of Existentialism . Kierkegaard was interested in subjectivity-the way people relate themselves to truths. He proposed that the truth was reliant on more that just objective facts. The importance, Kierkegaard reasoned, was the way a person relates to these objective facts. Kierkegaards views on the importance of the individual is emphasized in this paper. Kierkegaard values the individual above what he calls  the public . The  public  is antithetical to the individual finding his or her self. The  public  is the prevailing  views and opinions of the group. It is mob mentality. It is the antithesis of  reasoned and careful consideration. The most disturbing aspect of  the  public  is how it sublimely tries to substitute an individuals thoughts and feelings with those of the  publics .  Kierkegaard implicates schools and philosophers in the destruction and subversion of the individual creating what he terms as  pseudo individuals . Kierkegaard concern is the  loss of individual, which he values above all else. The uniqueness of  the individual is what gives a community of individuals its strength.

Sartre is a giant of 20th century philosophy and is known for his major contributions to existentialism and his active commitment to political causes. The Existentialism of Sartre believes that the answers to the big questions regarding mankind, in every aspect, requires a new framework of thought and consciousness beyond any and every category present in the collective body of knowledge. Sartre does not reject science or psychology as failed intellectual disciplines, but he did believe that any of these disciplines was simply inadequate to explain our existence and the reasons we are here.

Sartres Existentialism is relevant to diversity because of the monumental task of creating an entirely new framework and a body of knowledge to fill it that is implied by its main tenets. While Existentialism sees the need for whole new categories of thought, it does not reject or even discredit the current framework within which our categories of knowledge presently work. In these ideas, there is no rejection of  the, as Sartre views them,  inadequate categories of knowledge  such as  the sciences and philosophy.  Sartre leaves the door open to possibilities and makes no condemnation of the prevailing paradigm (the confidence in science, etc. to be able to answer the big philosophical questions without the need for a new framework of thought). This encourages new and diverse minds to explore some of these radical ideas without fear of ridicule or rejection. It is an open invitation for an open dialogue about an idea that will require the greatest diversity of minds possible if they are to become reality.  because that is the only way to extend and create the framework of thought necessary if we are ever to truly understand the human condition.   idea that entire new levels of thought are required for answers to deep philosophical questions. Kierkegaard emphasizes the importance of the individual discovering and recognizing  their identity as a human and considers this quest a moral imperative. Taking this philosophical approach regarding ones individuality translates into a deeper respect for and understanding of other persons. Diversity is not only tolerated, but it becomes a necessary part of every human interaction. This lays a foundation for our everyday contact and associations with other humans that is inherently positive and loving and complements the teachings of Christianity such as unconditional love.


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